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North Suffolk nursing home confirms COVID-19 outbreak

Multiple residents and staff members of Bon Secours Maryview Nursing Care Center in North Suffolk have tested positive for COVID-19, a spokeswoman confirmed Monday.

Spokeswoman Jenna Green did not identify the number of people who have tested positive, but said that “out of an abundance of caution, we are testing every associate and resident for COVID-19.”

She said each resident is isolated in their homes, and the facility is following quarantine guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and safety protocols from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health to minimize exposure to other residents and staff.

“Maryview Nursing Care Center remains a safe place to live, work and seek care,” Green said.

It is one of five COVID-19 outbreaks among long-term care facilities in the Western Tidewater Health District, which includes the cities of Suffolk and Franklin, as well as Isle of Wight and Southampton counties.

Autumn Care of Suffolk previously confirmed four cases — two among residents and two of staff members — while in Windsor, Consulate Health Care Executive Director Gary James sent a letter to residents and family members April 2 notifying them of an outbreak at that facility, but did not state how many people had tested positive for COVID-19.

Another Suffolk facility, Bickford of Suffolk Assisted Living and Memory Care, continues to report on its website that it has not seen any positive cases of COVID-19 through Sunday, while Riverside Healthy Living Community Smithfield, and the Village at Woods Edge in Franklin, have yet to report any cases.

It is likely, though, at least part of the reason Isle of Wight and Suffolk saw sharp increases in confirmed cases over the past week. Cases in Isle of Wight have increased from 31 a week ago to 86 Monday.

Cases also increased in Suffolk over the past week, going from 51 to 92.

Long term care facilities across the country have been experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. In Virginia, there have been 139 total outbreaks, 77 of those at long-term care facilities, with the largest outbreak taking place in Harrisonburg.

The Virginia Health Department has chosen so far not to name specific long-term facilities in the state experiencing outbreaks.

The CDC said Sunday it would require long-term care facilities to notify residents and their representatives within 12 hours of a single confirmed positive COVID-19 case, or to notify within three days if three or more residents or staff experience the onset of respiratory symptoms. The long-term care facilities must also report COVID-19 cases directly to the CDC, which is putting together a nationwide database to track that data.

Green said Bon Secours has a COVID-19 task force “to enable an agile response to this pandemic.”

She said it has established a designated COVID-19 unit based on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines to group potential COVID-19 positive residents who are admitted to, or are already working in, a Bon Secours facility.

“We are following all isolation, visitor restriction and screening protocols,” Green said, “to minimize the spread of the virus.”